At least 740 million shillings is saved annually by the Uganda police force through making its own uniforms.
Irene Ameri Kimara, the Acting Deputy Director of logistics and engineering said ever since police started making their own uniforms, the money it saves has been tremendously increasing.
Kimara in a brief to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi, said a pair of police uniforms now costs 40,000 shillings and is almost five times less costly compared to purchasing from a prequalified supplier.
“Our garment factory has been significant in reducing the cost and time of procuring police uniforms. Operating at full capacity, the facility can produce over 400 pairs daily, transitioning from the previous practice of importing uniforms from suppliers both local and abroad,” Kimara said.
Maj Gen Tumusiime has been getting briefs from the different police directorates and units which has been visiting or intending to visit. His visits to various police units and directorates are purposely intended to ascertain the working conditions of personnel attached to them but also to establish the challenges being faced by the same.
Last evening, Maj Gen Tumusiime, paid a visit to the garment factory at Jinja Road to familiarize himself with its daily operations. The garment factory falls under the directorate of logistics and engineering currently headed by Assistant Inspector General of Police –AIGP Richard Edyegu.
The factory which was established in 2014 during the reigns of the former IGP Gen Edward Kale Kayihura, will be marking 10 years of existence in September 2024.
Maj Gen Tumusiime hailed police officers and civilians serving in the factory for steering its operations and enabling the force to save a lot of money.
“I would like to appreciate everyone working in this garment factory and the role it is playing in saving taxpayers’ money that was being spent to purchase officers’ uniforms from outsiders. I pledge my full support for the facility’s expansion beyond police services,” Maj Gen Tumusiime said.
Tumusiime urged the garment managers and all workers to maintain high standards by producing quality and reliable uniforms which would enable them to seize cross-border future opportunities. CP Kimara and Senior Commissioner of Police –SCP Felix Baryamwisaki, the deputy director in charge of estates, said the garment factory has become an unemployment source for many civilians.
“This garment factory has been benefiting police officers’ spouses, children, and other members of the public who have the requisite qualification through the Presidential Skilling Program. The facility has also extended its services to benchmarking for sister forces such as Prisons and UPDF,” CP Kimara said.
Between 2019 and 2022, the police garment factory stitched 28,000 pairs of working uniforms for the Uganda Prisons Service (UPS). It has also served as a benchmark for the Uganda Prison Service to establish its stitching facility, providing training in good manufacturing practices and other skills.
Baryamwisaki and Kimara said during the COVID-19 outbreak, especially in 2020, the garment facility stitched 150,000 pieces of reusable masks for the UPDF, Police, and the general public.
Other than making uniforms for UPS, the police garment factory makes uniforms for their counterparts in Somalia. The factory is currently glorified as one of the major revenue sources for the police force.